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Excuses for Not Drinking: 51 Ways to Say No to Alcohol

I've never been into drinking alcohol, so I've found plenty of creative ways to say no to a drink.

Don't Feel Like Drinking? That's Alright!

I never started drinking alcohol and still don’t have a reason to start. But, like clockwork, when I'm offered alcohol, no one likes to hear "oh, I don't drink." As such, I’ve collected quite a few excuses for not drinking over the years. Here are 51 of my favorites!

Even if you do like to drink, these can come in handy from time to time!

Don't feel like you have to drink just because other people are drinking.

Don't feel like you have to drink just because other people are drinking.

51 Excuses for Not Drinking Alcohol

  1. I don’t drink.
  2. I’m driving.
  3. I’m allergic.
  4. Thanks, but do you have any Ovaltine?
  5. I’m on a hunger strike.
  6. Who do you think I am? Ms. Sant? Drinkin’ out of cups?
  7. I’m diabetic.
  8. See that dude over there? He’s drinking for the both of us. Just send drinks his way.
  9. I’m on a diet.
  10. No thanks.
  11. I’m pregnant.
  12. I’m the designated driver.
  13. I’m trying to pace myself.
  14. I’m fasting.
  15. It’ll make me too sleepy.
  16. None for me, thanks!
  17. I’ll pass.
  18. Thanks, but I never combine alcohol with meth.
  19. I’m not thirsty.
  20. I’m still drunk from last night.
  21. “Sorry, I like to be difficult.”
  22. I’m feeling a bit queasy right now. Probably not a good idea.
  23. I’ve got to give up really early tomorrow.
  24. I’m Mormon.
  25. I can’t have it with my medication.
  26. I’m a recovering alcoholic.
  27. Pass! Pass! Pass! OHAAAYO!!
  28. I’m trying to cut back.
  29. I’m already feeling a bit tipsy.
  30. NEIN.
  31. I can’t.
  32. No thanks, I’m still digesting that napkin.
  33. Thanks, but I promised my boyfriend I’d not embarrass him tonight.
  34. I’m in the middle of a detox, but thanks.
  35. I’m still hungover.
  36. Thanks for the offer, but I only drink Laings Ben Ewe Whisky.
  37. I’m too broke to be drinking right now.
  38. The last time I drank, I got in this epic bar fight... I promised myself not to drink again until the bruises heal.
  39. I’m not big on the taste, but thanks.
  40. Thanks, but all I want right now is a glass of warm milk. And a blankie.
  41. Whoah—ok, GREAT. Now you’ve reminded me how bad I have to go pee.
  42. Not a good idea. I’m an angry drunk.
  43. GO AWAY.
  44. I gave booze up for lent.
  45. It’s against my religion.
  46. I’m training really hard right now—no alcohol for me.
  47. I’m a vampire.
  48. I already have to go pee... this’ll just do me in.
  49. I had a terrible experience with alcohol a while back... Still recovering from it.
  50. And how am I supposed to measure those calories?
  51. LOOK! A marmoset!

Why Skimp on Drinks?

Not sure why you would want to turn down drinks at a party? Here are some compelling reasons:

  • If you're not buying drinks, you can save a lot of money.
  • You will probably not end up hungover the next morning.
  • You will probably not end up vomiting somewhere.
  • You will be less likely to make a fool of yourself.
  • You will be able to safely drive home—and even act as the all-important designated driver.
  • You can spare yourself the absorption of empty calories.
  • You will better be able to watch others get wasted.

What's Your Go-to Excuse?

If you ever pass on drinks at a party or social event, what is your excuse? Share it with the rest of us in the comments! I know I'm always looking for something new to say, and I bet you've got some great ideas!

© 2011 Simone Haruko Smith


Rod on April 06, 2019:

Once, I went to the Belrose Rubbish tip and found a cardboard carton of quite old wines, including some that were quite special. Of course, they were well sealed, so we cautiously made sure they were not wasted.

Jye on June 03, 2018:

You win pass it here

Gabe on May 19, 2015:

When I drink, I break out in handcuffs.

Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on January 18, 2013:

Oh, how sad that you had to throw out the wine! It sounds like you're drinking just the right amount though, DzyMsLizzy. I ought to reach for a hot toddy every now and then- perhaps I'll take a leaf from your book!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on January 15, 2013:

"Nah--I get my jollies from watching everyone else get wasted and make fools of themselves--(now where'd I put my video camera???)"

I don't drink very much at all...we have some booze in the house; most of it is years old, even that which is open. But I recently had to throw out several bottles of wine because they didn't get stored right and went bad. ... A glass of wine or a beer with dinner now and again; perhaps a hot toddy if I have a bad cold; rarely, a straight shot if I really, really, can't get to sleep. That's about the extent of my drinking. Don't have much of a social life--no budget for it.

Voted up and funny! Very clever, Simone!

Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on January 15, 2013:

Thank you, ever so!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on June 28, 2012:

Hehehe, these excuses crack me up. :D Hmm, I like a little red wine to fend of heart disease. But I hear they're making those Omega-3-6-9 fish gels to help combat THAT problem. Hehe, though I don't think that would be any good for an excuse. ;) Fabulous hub - as always! Cheers!

Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on February 28, 2012:

Alcohol should certainly not be taken entirely lightly, FloraBreenRobison. I'm sorry to hear your brother must deal with that struggle.

FloraBreenRobison on February 19, 2012:

I'm commenting at 1:30 in the morning because I can't sleep and a hub on drinking seems to be the best way for me to get this off my chest rather than posting this in the forums. Some people have asked me why I want nothing to do with Pinterest compared to even something like Facebook. Well. My brother is a recovering alcoholic. Just because he is in recovery doesn't mean he is not an alcoholic. You remain an alcoholic for life. When he got married, his wife'sfamily decided they simply had to have an open bar at the reception because *they* were not alcoholic, so why should they be denied alcohol?

Well. There are plenty of people who drink responsibly, but alcohol is a drug. It is a killer. And I will not willingly be associated with a company that sells alcohol.

Ironic. If this were a website run by a cigarette company, no one would second-guess why I don't want to be involved. Alcohol can be just as deadly as any other drugs and plenty of people have killed under the influence. But it is still sold on television. For whatever reason, society accepts it more than they do crack or heroin etc.

If this were a website run by a clothing store, I wouldn't have a problem.

And if there were no alcoholics in my family I may not care either. But I do have one in my family. And I do care. And the idea that people tell me it is the same as other social networking sites probably would feel the same way if alcoholism were a problem in their family.

Garrett Mickley from Jupiter, Florida on November 29, 2011:

I was thinking of quitting drinking. I don't have a drinking problem by any means, but it's really just not good for you, so I figure I can eat more junk food if I drink less and maybe my health will even out?

I should also start doing yoga or something similar...

Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on November 29, 2011:

Hahaa! You wouldn't be the first, NotPC. And I'm DEAD in that album, stugod. Not drunk. Totally big difference, right? Totally!

Stuart Goddard from Bradford on November 28, 2011:

Bearing in mind your current status on facebook I am not sure you are qualified to host this hub. he he

NotPC on November 27, 2011:

I would recommend drinking for the person in this video :)

Daniel Christian from Los Angeles, CA on October 30, 2011:

These are great. I love that you did a video of your excuses for not drinking.

Gordon Hamilton from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on October 30, 2011:

Love it, Simone - the video is superb! I wouldn't have thought of most of these excuses. One I do remember, however, from bitter past expereince that a lot of your male readers may sympathise with...??? "No, thanks - she's watching and has already decided that I've had enough..." :)

clintonb from Adelaide, Australia on October 30, 2011:

That was a good hub! :P A LOT of ways to avoid ;)

Moon Daisy from London on October 29, 2011:

Great list, and great hub! I used to have some friends who were heavy drinkers. They thought that getting off their heads was the only way to have a good time, and couldn't understand my problem of not being able to keep up! So these excuses would have been very useful back then.

Now I'm a little better at choosing friends, lol! And I like the occasional drink when I get the chance. But these will be handy if ever I'm out and not in the mood for alcohol.

Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on October 29, 2011:

That's a great one, Vibhavari!

Vibhavari from India on October 29, 2011:

Oh My gosh! I love all those drinks and don't know what to to choose......hmmm maybe vodka, no no whiskey...ah no some wine maybe.... oh bother! I'll pass :)

Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on October 28, 2011:

Hahaa, thanks y'all for the kind comments!

And ktrapp- THAT IS SUCH A GOOD EXCUSE!! And it's one of my biggest reasons for not really wanting to drink. EATING IS SO MUCH MORE FUN!!! I never thought to actually explain that to folks... but if you do, I can too! Yay!

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on October 27, 2011:

Are you just filling in at HubPages while you wait for your big break in Hollywood? Your video cracked me up, yet it seems you missed what I always say as a non-drinker to my drinking friends who just don't understand why I don't imbibe ... "I prefer to eat my calories than drink them."

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on October 27, 2011:

OMG OMG! You could join The Goundlings and be on SNL!!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 27, 2011:

Some good and funny reasons. Reason #11 only works at a certain age. No one would believe me now. Haha!

Kim Morgan Gregory from The Coast of The South Carolina Lowcountry on October 25, 2011:

This was really funny thanks for sharing.

itops from the sea on October 25, 2011:

Funny hub! Look! A marmoset!

Edward Zhang from Bay Area, CA on October 24, 2011:

These excuses probably won't stop our fellow co-workers upstairs from nagging me......

Lela Bryan from Alameda, CA on October 24, 2011:

These are great!

Paul Edmondson from Burlingame, CA on October 24, 2011:

Awesome. I'm on a four drink a week budget. These will come in handy.

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on October 24, 2011:

Is great to see you Simone. Your sparkling in this awesome vid. You'd make a heck of an actress. Marvelous!

Melanie Palen from Midwest, USA on October 24, 2011:

I just don't handle alcohol that well and really don't enjoy being drunk. One drink and I'm drunk and then it does on to being immediately nauseous and then tired. I just don't see the fun in feeling the room spinning around and then vomiting. Because it affects me so strongly, I just tell people I'm allergic.

NotPC on October 24, 2011:

So many good reasons to say yes...

Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on October 23, 2011:

LOL stugod.... god FORBID anything spill!!

I'm so glad you like the format, Cloverleaf! I think it's a fun way to go and would work out well with a lot of Hubbers' Hubs.

You should TOTALLY make a list of reasons to drink, Attikos!

And +1000 cool points for Captain Tying Knots.

I LOVE that, drbj!! Totally going to try it out.

Thanks, donate-timeshares!

I've tried that one leroy64- of course, the problem is that people always respond with "YES I WANT TO SEE YOU DRUNK!!!"

I appreciate the compliment, suzettenaples! And I envy your assertiveness and authority!

Seems like things have worked out pretty favorably for you, anglnwu! Some folks don't stop after that point... and I hope your son is enjoying the start of his college career!

I think you have the ideal approach, randomcreative. All things in moderation can be quite good! Except murdering, perhaps.

I LOVE THAT, CWanamaker. I'm going to start using that excuse, too.

Nice and simple, that is, topquark! I wonder why people always ask "Whyyyy???" Maybe I go to pushy parties.

An excellent excuse, Movie Master- especially as it spares you any discomfort!

I'm really glad you've stopped, sarah uk. And I hope you use some of these fun excuses when you're not really up for the more serious one!

Thanks a ton, thoughtforce! I'm all for moderation, and these excuses can help just as much with drinking in moderation as they can with not drinking at all :D

Heeeee!! I'm so glad, Camille! And THAT IS AN AWESOME EXCUSE!!! I cannot WAIT to take it for a test drive!!

Finally,, you might have just encouraged me to take a new direction. I love the idea of going through life without making excuses. Though it sure does take guts!

Camille Harris from SF Bay Area on October 23, 2011:

David loved the list, especially #51!

When I stopped drinking (I've since resumed) I'd say "I'm drinking for two," which always caught people off guard.

Love the list and the video - keep up the hilarious (and helpful) work!

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on October 23, 2011:

Great hub with good excuses and I love the video! You are brilliant!

But I wish more people could drink with moderation because being drunk isn't fun at all! I will remember your excuses next time I don´t feel like drinking:)


sarah uk on October 23, 2011:

i stumbled on this from a link based on 'early withdrawal effects of alcohol' after i had a seizure when i stopped recently. It really made me laugh to read the list. Thanks. Been basically self harming with the drug for years. Most of us don't want to drink but we have in the main had an event which led us to the self sabotage and we hate ourselves for drinking. I know this hub was not meant to have a go at alcoholics, but i wanted to explain my position and that it lifted a worry about what to tell people other than 'cos i'm a recovering addict'. Here's to using those excuses (this time with a nice cup of tea)!

Movie Master from United Kingdom on October 22, 2011:

Loved the simone vid, brilliant!

My excuse is always, 'I'm driving' truth is I just can't take the drink like I use too!

Attikos from East Cackalacky on October 22, 2011:

This crowd needs a boost, I think. I need to come up with some reasons to drink. on October 22, 2011:

Simone never make excuses for yourself! If others don't get YOU that's not your prob it's theirs! But got a LOL out of this thanks!

topquark from UK on October 22, 2011:

I've always found that saying "I don't want to drink" and refusing to drink any alcohol given to me worked just fine.

Christopher Wanamaker from Arizona on October 21, 2011:

Haha those are pretty good. Next time I am in a situation, I will just say that I have to check this list of excuses I found on the internet...

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 21, 2011:

I love the video to go with it! Awesome hub. I do drink, but it's strictly social and only about once a month at the very most. More power to those who can find ways to entertain themselves that don't involve alcohol.

anglnwu on October 21, 2011:

Funny--I don't like to drink because the only time I drank, I passed out and hated it since. However, I could send this over to my son, just started college and I'm sure he needs to learn all these excuses. Thanks.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on October 21, 2011:

Great list! But, I've never had a problem saying no to alcohol. No one has ever insisted that I have a drink, so I must say whatever with some sort of authority because no one really challenges me. I think this list is great for every elementary, middle school, high school and college kid to read and learn!

PS Love the bows!

Brian L. Powell from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff) on October 21, 2011:


If it is a stranger, I simply say that I don't want alcohol right now. If they insist, I am not sure what I would do. It has not happened yet.

If it's someone that knows me, I ask the following question: "You know how I am sober. Do you really want to see me drunk?" That gets a laugh and I change the subject.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on October 21, 2011:

Great excuses, Simone. My favorite: "Can't drink tonight; I'm the designated driver. Would someone please help me find my car?"

Maddie Ruud from Oakland, CA on October 21, 2011:

LOVE the "drinkin' out of cups" reference.

--Captain Tying Knots

Attikos from East Cackalacky on October 21, 2011:

They sound like flimsy excuses to me.

Louise from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 21, 2011:

Great stuff, Simone! I just loved your video, I think it's a great technique to engage readers in the hub, and it was fun to follow your video with the list you provided, too. Thanks for the entertainment! Now I have plenty of excuses for not drinking ;)

Stuart Goddard from Bradford on October 21, 2011:

Never drink and drive as you will spill it all over. (tried it) You should also be aware that being involved in an auto accident sober, hurts like hell. The same does not apply if you are drunk at the time of the accident. Just a bit of a giggle. No follow up comments pleease. British Humour. CHEERS !!!!

Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on October 21, 2011:

You don't drink AND you don't drive? FloraBreenRobison, we have a lot in common! I've never heard of ouzo-um. Sounds lethal!

That's a very good reason, L.L. Woodard. And I look forward to the day when I feel secure enough to leave it at "no, thank you." I admire your skills!

Thanks, asmaiftikhar!

And THOSE ARE AWESOME EXCUSES, TattooKitty!!!! I shall be taking ALL of them for a spin! Just have to get some lollies. Or maybe a binky?

I do sincerely hope we can get it 100 proof in the comments, tsmog ;) Your contributions are fabulous! LOVE the Poe excuse.

I hope you have fun with that one, andrewwilliams63! It's one of my staple excuses :D

waynet, I think that's one of the best ways possible to stop people from even OFFERING drinks- smart move! I've always wanted to toss a drink in someone's face, too. Sometimes it's so tempting, you know?

Hahaa, it's so true, innit Tyler Bracken? I hope you give some of these a try. They can be pretty fun ^_^

Thanks, princesswithapen! The driving excuse is wonderful. Though it does backfire when I use it on folks who know I don't own a car.... hehee!

I think that happens with a LOT of young people, Emerald Strachan! It's hard to say no in many situations.

Hahaa, I appreciate the compliment, tillsontitan! I'm a HUGE fan of watching others get drunk, too. It's so much fun!

Have fun at the party tonight, Matt Stark! I hope some of these excuses spare you the drudgery of the Saturday Morning Hangover.

Thanks Kim!

And that is AWESOME, Om Paramapoonya! I think it would be even MORE effective and hilarious when delivered from dudes. They would DEFINITELY come across as already drunk... or insane! Either possibility is favorable.

Om Paramapoonya on October 21, 2011:

HAHAHAHAHA Love the video! Here's another good excuse: "I'm breastfeeding." Too bad this trick won't work for men....well, maybe it will. Saying that would probably make them sound very drunk already!

Kim Morgan Gregory from The Coast of The South Carolina Lowcountry on October 21, 2011:

great hub...

Matt Stark from Albany, CA on October 21, 2011:

Hahaha, Simone you are awesomely hilarious. I will be putting some of these to use tonight at a birthday party and will be singing your praises when i have to wake up at 7 tomorrow. Word!

Mary Craig from New York on October 21, 2011:

Hysterical and original! I don't know which is better, your quotes or your video. I'm voting up and funny. I don't drink because I'd rather watch the other idiots get drunk ;)

Emerald Strachan on October 21, 2011:

When I was younger I could not or would not say no to alcohol. It was my only means of escape whenever I partied. I went through so much pain that I wanted to party and I wanted to drink. As I got older and slowly got over some of the pain I hated parties and alcohol. I still have my occasional glass of wine and if I go out I may have something stronger, but that's about it.

Some of your excuses are really funny....LOL

princesswithapen on October 21, 2011:

"I'm driving" seems to work for me all the time.

#8 was really funny!

Good hub, Simone.


Tyler Bracken from Berlin, Germany on October 21, 2011:

I have recently realised.. It you refuse a drink people will generally give you a Larry David esq look over and assume you are an alcoholic :-/ I think I will pick one of the reason off of your list for next time!

Wayne Tully from Hull City United Kingdom on October 21, 2011:

Lol I like the Look it's a Marmoset!! I can see that one working!

I just hurl chunks at people and that usually stops them from trying to give me more drinks....I don't drink much anymore anyhow, as it just sends me to sleep and I wake up and feel totally guilty for not being a productive person whilst drunk.

If asked about having a drink why not just throw it back in their face and run out the place screaming like a loon, that would be fun!

Hahaha lolol!! great video!!!!

andrewwilliams63 on October 21, 2011:

Love it! - my personal favorite is “Sorry, I like to be difficult”


Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on October 21, 2011:

Awesome Simone. Videos. Hmmmmmmmm. I think a follow up hub on the significance of 51(%) in the making of whiskey would be interesting. What ever you were drinking it must have been 51 proof, eh? Just kidding. Maybe with the comment section we will get it to 100 proof.

OK, enough about my past - smile. I don't drink today, generally with a few very infrequent exceptions, like bro offers beer at Thanksgiving or Christmas, company Christmas party (but I walk to it and walk home - sometimes, hiccup), and very seldom to remember why I don't. Hmmmm that is an odd one, eh?

It's late, so I'm writing way to much. Excuses are:

I take meds

Causes increased blood sugar levels or nicely put I'm diabetic

I don't feel like writing like Edgar Allen Poe tonight when I get home

I like my nose the way it is now, thank you

She doesn't drink? Nahhhh, I don't think I want one thank you

I brought my own, thanks anyway

TattooKitty from Hawaii on October 21, 2011:

Nien. HAHAHA!! Great video- voted up & funny ;)

I'd like to add these to your list...

1) If I start drinking, I just might hit you.

2)-Chef Ramsey voice- You expect me to drink that? Piss off!!!

3) And ruin my X high? Why would I do such a thing? (use a lollipop for extra drama)

LOL...thanks for the laughs, Simone!! xD

asmaiftikhar from Pakistan on October 20, 2011:

Simon as usual interesting, unique and informative theme really that is helpful to understand the reality.KEEEP it up!

L.L. Woodard from Oklahoma City on October 20, 2011:

Another reason not to drink? Tomorrow you'll be able to remember the good time you had last night.

I drink infrequently...and totally when I initiate it. Maybe being middle-age has made me more immune to comments from others, but I have no trouble saying, "No, thank you."

FloraBreenRobison on October 20, 2011:

My brother-now sober-had become an alcoholic before I reached legal age so I never became interested. I can count on one hand the number of times I've drunk anything and they are mostly at a wedding where I sipped at a drink during the toasts. Sadly, I don't have a driver's licence so I can't say I am the designated driver. When I wa sin Geece a decade ago, everyone thought I was crazy because I didn't have any ouzo-um, you know it's about 100 proof, right? love your video.

Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on October 20, 2011:

Wesman My Man, we would make a great party pair. Thanks for the kind words! I'm not real good at this here video makin', but it sure is fun! Speaking of which, I'd loooove to see some guitar videos from you someday.

And melbel, I do believe we are in the same boat! Let them think we're crazy. Crazies have all the fun, after all ;)

Melanie Palen from Midwest, USA on October 20, 2011:

I seldom drink. I just don't like it. I get a lot of people asking me why and I'll say I'm allergic. I just don't like to drink and it kind of sucks when people think I'm crazy for not. Ah, oh well. :P

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on October 20, 2011:

I'm that dude over there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I NEVER COMBINE ALCOHOL WITH METH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(can't tell you how much I heart that one!)

Love the video!!! I've been wanting more Simone Vids since the last time I seen a Simone Vid!!! Yay Simone!